UNICEF Kenya and Safaricom announced a new partnership to help Kenyan children in a range of areas including education, child protection and emergencies. The new partners have pledged to work together to ensure children – especially the poorest and most marginalized – can access the Internet at school, are protected from violence and abuse, and receive life-saving information during droughts, floods and disease outbreaks such as COVID-19.
“This new partnership with Safaricom has enormous potential to help some of the most vulnerable children in Kenya, including those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” UNICEF Kenya Deputy Representative Jean Lokenga said.
Steve Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Safaricom said their partnership with UNICEF incorporates new areas of mutual interest, such as online safety for children, as well as connecting schools to the Internet. “We are particularly excited about joining the ‘Spot it, Stop it’ campaign which aims to protect children from all forms of violence and abuse, including online abuse.”
Under the partnership, UNICEF Kenya and Safaricom will work together for two years on the priority areas of education, child protection and emergency response. It will bring together UNICEF’s expertise on children’s rights, advocacy and programme work with Safaricom’s range of products, services and ability to reach and communicate with a large audience.
Priority projects under the new partnership include:
- The Connecting Schools initiative, which has already connected seven public primary schools to the Internet, enabling online learning and use of digital tools for more than 1,000 students, including children with disabilities.
- A campaign on violence against children, ‘Spot it, Stop it’, which aims to raise public awareness of the different forms of violence – physical, sexual and emotional – including how to recognise and report these. The campaign also addresses violence and abuse against children in the online space.
- Support for public information and behaviour change communication on COVID-19, including the promotion of handwashing, mask wearing and physical distancing.